Eastern Kentucky did not appear to stand a chance of beating Georgia State at the 1:34-mark of the first half. And then a prayer was answered from beyond half court as time expired on Friday night.
Things were back-and-forth through the first four minutes, but the home team started to pull away.
Georgia State’s lead grew to 10 with 4:53 left in the first half, 16 with 3:34, and 20 with just over 90 seconds. Although Eastern Kentucky was able to get the score back within 15 at the break, there was a long way to go and momentum was not in favor of the visitors.
However, where the Panthers were dominant through the first 20 minutes, everything flipped on its head. Whatever head coach A.W. Hamilton said to the Colonels in the visitors’ locker room worked.
They started to climb back and with 10 minutes left, they were down eight.
With six minutes left, they were down four. With three minutes left, they were up one.
From there, it was a battle. Both sides traded buckets, but Georgia State went up 61-56 with 82 seconds remaining. Eastern Kentucky’s hopes were grim— until they weren’t.
With eight seconds left, the school’s first-ever four-star recruit — Leland Walker — hit a triple to put his team within two. He quickly fouled following the inbounds and sent the Panthers to the line.
They missed and Colonels senior Cooper Robb got the rebound with three… two… one…
HE PULLED UP FROM BEYOND HALF COURT AND SUNK THE GAME-WINNER AS TIME EXPIRED! UNBELIEVABLE!
From 20 points down to winning by one on a half-court+ heave, Eastern Kentucky’ bench swarmed onto the court and the celebration was on. The first buzzer-beater of the 2022 college basketball season was as exhilarating as we could hope!